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Avington Pond

[ Roud 1654 ; Ballad Index PCL002 ; VWML GG/1/3/93 ; DT AVINGTON ; Mudcat 166643 ; trad.]

Frank Purslow: The Constant Lovers

Richard Hall on Itchen Abbas, Hampshire, sang Abington Pond to G.B. Gardiner in 1905 [VWML GG/1/3/93] .

Eliza Carthy sang Avington Pond on her 2023 album Conversations We’ve Had Before. She noted:

‘Mud-plumper’ used to be the term for an individual who was possessed of the ability to dredge out your pond. This song is about a team of said hardy types—particularly hardy in this case, as the job the song relays takes place in December. The team, impressive enough to be named in the song, seemed to have spent half their time in the freezing water and half their time in The Plough pub, which still exists! Not sure if it’s as rowdy as it used to be, but do say hello to Miss Mundy if you encounter her while you’re there.


Eliza Carthy sings Avington Pond

Come, gentlemen all, and I’ll sing you a song
about the mudplumpers of Avington Pond.
They are hearty good fellows, I’ll give them their due,
Their delight is in drinking Miss Munday’s strong brew.

Chorus (after each verse):
Derry down, down, down, derry down

The tenth of December this job was begun,
How the wheelbarrows did rattle and run;
With three or four hundred of wheels to spin round,
There’s no better hundred, I’ll bet fifty pound.

There’s Davis and Morris and Will Mason too,
Hearty good fellows, I’ll give them their due;
One day the strong beer got in Davis’s crown,
And into the water he came tumbling down.

Here’s Archer and Churcher and Joe, Jim and Dick,
For swiftness of run as close we could get;
Here’s Andrew’s gang, we will push them about,
We’ll all work like Turks and we’ll soon work it out.

So now this job it is finished and done,
Get over to Itchen to get your due fund;
We’ll dance and be merry, we’ll drink and we’ll sing,
We’ll make every room in the Plough for to ring.